• Alex McArthur

BUSH ESCAPES EPISODE SEVEN: CAPE LE GRANDE & CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARKS



In the seventh episode of Bush Escapes we take a look at Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid National Parks. All the places we visit throughout the series are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles, so there's no excuses to not see these amazing sights! Below are some more details about the places we've visited throughout this episode. At the bottom of the page is A GoogleMap of this episodes journey along with all the main places we've visited and the route we travelled plotted on it.

Video Credits

writer/director/producer/editor/camera - Alex McArthur

camera - Miguel DeNobrega

executive producers - Alexkorp Films & Miguel DeNobrega

Music sourced from Artlist.io

Music Tracks

Rainy Day - Young Rich Pixies

Selfish - Theevs Music

Gravity - Binary Stars

Drifting - This Patch of Sky

Verve - A-Group

Trickster - Clowns



CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK

ENTRY - $13(FULL), $7(CONCESSION) PER VEHICLE

THE CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK IS 780KM SOUTHEAST OF PERTH AND IS 60KM EAST OF THE TOWN OF ESPERANCE. THE PARK IS HOME TO SOME OF AUSTRALIA'S MOST SPECTACULAR BEACHES INCLUDING LUCKY BAY, WHERE KANGAROOS ARE OFTEN FOUND TAKING A REST ON THE SPARKLING WHITE SAND. THE PARK ALSO FEATURES MASSIVE GRANITE PEAKS AND RIDGES, WITH THE FRENCHMAN PEAK HIKE TRAIL OFFERING A PARTICULARLY FANTASTIC VANTAGE TO TAKE THE PARK IN FROM. THE PARK IS IDEAL FOR NATURE LOVERS AND ADVENTURERS ALIKE WITH A VARIETY OF LANDSCAPES TO EXPLORE AND DUE TO THE PARKS RELATIVELY SMALL SIZE IT IS VERY EASY TO MOVE BETWEEN SITES IN THE PARK. THERE ARE TWO CAMPGROUNDS ACCESSIBLE BY 2WD WITHIN THE PARK, THE LUCKY BAY CAMPGROUND AND THE LE GRAND BEACH CAMPGROUND. BOTH CAMPGROUNDS ARE EXTREMELY POPULAR SO BOOKING AHEAD IS ESSENTIAL. BOOKINGS CAN BE MADE FOR THE CAMPGROUNDS AT THE PARKSTAY WEBSITE


NEARBY TOWNS TO CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK

ESPERANCE IS THE CLOSEST TOWN TO CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK AND IS 60KM WEST OF THE PARK. ESPERANCE IS A PRETTY BIG TOWN AND HAS YOU COVERED FOR ALL YOUR FUEL AND FOOD SUPPLIES.


NO FIRES IN CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK

FIRES ARE NOT PERMITTED AT ANY TIME IN CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK.


NO DOGS IN CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK

No dogs are allowed in the campgrounds or any of the major landmarks within the park. DPAW conducts baiting with 1080 poison as part of its Western Shield animal conservation program in Cape Le Grand National Park. 1080 poison is lethal to dogs, so its probably best to leave the pooch at home if you're going to this park . To see all the locations of the Western Shield Animal Conservation program click here


BARBECUES IN CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK

There are barbecues at the Le Grand Beach and Lucky Bay campgrounds. If you intend on using the barbecues it is a good idea to take some long matches or a long handle lighter as they can be difficult to start without them.


RUBBISH BINS

The Le Grand Beach and Lucky Bay campgrounds have rubbish bins. Some of the other sites throughout Cape Le Grand National Park also have rubbish bins but its always best to be prepared to take your rubbish with you.




CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS

LE GRAND BEACH Campground

The Le Grande Beach campground is located on the western side of the park just off the back of Le Grand Beach. The sites are spread out nicely and there are trees and shrubs separating the camp sites from one another. The short walk from the campground to Le Grand Beach is an absolute must, with the stunning beach offering distant views to large granite islands on the horizon. The beach itself is immaculate with white sandy shores and crystal blue water, and the shorefront looks to just stretch on forever. There is a camp kitchen with barbecues, stoves, sinks and picnic tables along with shared solar heated showers and toilet facilities. The Le Grand Beach campground is extremely popular during spring, summer and going into autumn so bookings are essential. Bookings for the campground can be made through the DPAW parkstay website.

-14 individual campsites

-$11(Adults), $7(Concession), $3(Children) PER NIGHT

-DPAW CAPE LE GRAND BOOKING PAGE

-For directions to the campground click HERE

AMENITIES:




LUCKY BAY CAMPGROUND

The Lucky Bay campground is located off the back of lucky bay, towards the centre of the park. The campground is the largest in the park with over 75 sites available for large vehicles through to tents and swags. The sites themselves have little privacy from one another, with rows of sites set out pretty much right next to each other. The campground has fantastic facilities with several undercover camp kitchens with barbecues, stoves and picnic tables dotted throughout the grounds along with shared toilets and solar heated showers. The bay itself is spectacular and is seen on many of the postcards and images that promote Australia. It is unique because it is a common sight to see Kangaroos lying down and relaxing by the beach. The bay is home to a wide sweep of beach that is framed on either side by rocky granite headland. Lucky Bay got its name when, in 1802, Matthew Flinders and his vessel 'HMS Investigator' took shelter here from a summer storm. The campground is extremely popular during spring, summer and going into autumn so bookings are essential. Bookings for the campground can be made through the DPAW parkstay website.

-75+ individual campsites

-$11(Adults), $7(Concession), $3(Children) PER NIGHT

-DPAW LUCKY BAY BOOKING PAGE

-For directions to the campground click HERE

AMENITIES:




CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK SIGHTS

HELLFIRE BAY

Hellfire Bay is a stunning little bay nestled between rocky granite headland. The bay is a fantastic secluded spot to go for a swim on calm days and with picnic table and barbecue facilities it's also a great spot to go for a picnic. The rocky headland on either side of the bay are a rock-hoppers delight, with plenty of nooks and crannies to go exploring. The bay is said to get its name from St Elmo's fire, a bluish flame-like electrical discharge that sometimes occurs above ship's masts. For directions to Hellfire Bay click here


THISTLE COVE

The next bay east from Hellfire Bay is Thistle Cove. Its an impressive cove with large granite boulders encompassing the majority of the shore. You can walk out on the boulders and get a fantastic view of the cove and nearby frenchman peak. There is a picnic table under the 'Whistling Rock', a large granite boulder that whistles in the wind. There is a secluded beach on the western side of the bay with a sandy outcrop (pictured above) that is ideal for a swim or a picnic. The cove has a real prehistoric feel about it, and the fascinating rock formations that surround the bay were sculpted by wind and sea over millions of years. The cove was named by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1802, who named it after the ship’s master John Thistle after he discovered a source of fresh water in the bay. For directions to Thistle Cove click here


FRENCHMAN PEAK

Frenchman Peak is located on the western side of Cape Le Grand National Park and is 10km east of the Le Grand Beach campground. The Peak was named by surveyor Alexander Forrest during an expedition in 1870, who thought the peaks shape resembled the hats worn by French troops in the 1800s. There is a steep 3km, class 5 return walk that takes you to the summit of the peak, which offers impressive views of the surrounding parkland. The path follows the eastern slope of the peak and there are markers which guide you to the top. The path to the summit is clear for the most part and is primarily along the rock face itself. do not attempt to short cut the walk as the rock is deceptively steep, especially on descent. The hike to the summit takes between 1 and 3 hours and should only be attempted on fine days with decent footwear as the rock face is quite steep and would be very slippery when wet. There is a cave near the summit that is thought to have been formed by wave action and underwater currents some 40 million years ago, when sea levels were at least 300 metres above their current level and the peaks of Cape Le Grand were largely submerged! The cave is a great spot to have a rest and take in the view on the way to the summit.

For directions to Frenchman Peak click here



DUKE OF ORLEANS BAY

The Duke of Orleans Bay, located between the Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid national parks, is 90km east of Esperance and is 800km southeast of Perth. The bay is home to a 2.8km stretch of pure white sand and crystal blue water. There is a sandbar which reaches out to Table Island (pictured above), an impressive 60m tall granite boulder that protrudes out of the water. The protected bay is a great place for a swim, or a picnic and there is a privately owned caravan park down the eastern end of the beach if you want to spend a little more time in this isolated paradise. For directions to Duke Of Orleans Bay click here


CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

ENTRY - $13(FULL), $7(CONCESSION) PER VEHICLE

THE CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK IS 830KM SOUTHEAST OF PERTH AND IS 120KM EAST OF THE TOWN OF ESPERANCE. THE PARK IS EXTREMELY ISOLATED SO IT IS NECESSARY TO BE PREPARED WITH ALL THE SUPPLIES AND FUEL YOU WILL NEED BEFORE YOU GET OUT THERE. MOST OF THE LOCATIONS IN CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK ARE ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL SITES ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE PARK TO CHECK OUT THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE BY TWO WHEEL DRIVE. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE WHEN GETTING CLOSE TO CAPE ARID IS JUST HOW TRULY ISOLATED THE PARK IS AND YOU CAN SEE THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK IN ALL ITS RUGGED BEAUTY. THE PARK IS HOME TO STUNNING BEACHES AND THERE ARE TWO LOVELY CAMPGROUNDS BY THE CONFLUENCE OF THE THOMAS RIVER. THERE ARE NO BOOKING FACILITIES FOR THE THOMAS RIVER CAMPGROUNDS.


NEARBY TOWNS TO CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

The town of Esperance is the closest major centre and has you covered for all your fuel and supply needs. Esperance is 120km west of the western side of Cape Arid National Park. The town of Condingup is 60km west of Cape Arid and can accomodate fuel and basic supply needs.


FIRES IN CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

FIRES ARE NOT PERMITTED AT ANY TIME IN CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK.


BARBECUES IN CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

There are barbecues at the Thomas River campground. If you intend on using the barbecues it is a good idea to take some long matches or a long handle lighter as they can be difficult to start without them.


DOGS IN CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

No dogs are allowed in the campgrounds or any of the major landmarks within the park. DPAW conducts baiting with 1080 poison as part of its Western Shield animal conservation program in Cape Arid National Park. 1080 poison is lethal to dogs, so its probably best to leave the pooch at home if you're going to this park . To see all the locations of the Western Shield Animal Conservation program click here


RUBBISH BINS

Most of the sites throughout Cape Arid National Park do not have rubbish bins so be prepared to take your rubbish with you.



CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS

THOMAS RIVER (YOKINUP MIA MIA)

There are two camp sites at Thomas River nestled in the coastal banksia woodland. The campgrounds are located off the back of Yokinup Bay, near the confluence of the Thomas River. The campgrounds have excellent camp kitchen facilities (pictured below) with hot plates, sinks, food preparation surfaces and picnic tables, along with shared toilet facilities.Both campgrounds have sites that cater for large vehicles through to tents and swags. The sites are well spaced, with the coastal banksia woodland separating the campsites from one another nicely. A short walk from the campground takes you out to the banks of Thomas River, which you can follow out onto Yokinup Bay.

-30+ individual campsites

-$11(Adults), $7(Concession), $3(Children) PER NIGHT

-No bookings for Thomas River campgrounds

-For directions to the campground click HERE

AMENITIES:




CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK SIGHTS

DOLPHIN COVE

A short drive south of the Thomas River Campgrounds is Dolphin Cove. The cove is said to be the best spot in the park for watching migrating Southern-Right and Humpback Whales from June to October and offers a fantastic spot to take in the rugged surrounds. The azure blue waters of Dolphin Cove are good to swim in on calm days, though caution should always be taken as conditions can change quickly. For directions to Dolphin Cove click here


YOKINUP BAY

Yokinup bay is located off the back of the Thomas River campgrounds and is a great place to relax after a day of exploring. The bay is a short walk from either campground and following the banks of Thomas River out onto the bay is a must if you are in the area. The Thomas River estuary hums with life as there are a variety of waterbirds and waders including pied oystercatchers and crested terns that frequent the area. For directions to Yokinup Bay click here


GOOGLE MYMAPS OF EPISODE SEVEN

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Episode Seven MyMap

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